Microsoft admits unauthorized charges, refuses Microsoft 365 family refund

Back in 2019, my Microsoft user account was somehow enrolled in a Microsoft 365 family trial. I don’t know how this happened. This could’ve been due to a Minecraft login or Microsoft’s migration of Minecraft user accounts to Xbox 360 Live, as I tried to get my boys logged back into their Minecraft accounts. I don’t even know what Microsoft 365 family is or what it does.

The trial then converted into a paid annual subscription, and my credit card was charged in February of each year, until I noticed it in 2022. Yes, I need to review and scrutinize my credit card charges more often, but this was on a card that I don’t use very much.

Microsoft 365 Family thief

I contacted Microsoft Support multiple times, asking them to provide me with a refund and explaining that this subscription was never used. They quickly refunded me the 2022 and 2021 charges, but then told me that they were unable to refund the 2020 and 2019 charges, because “policy”. They advised me that the charges were “unauthorized” and asked me to dispute them with my credit card company (screenshot of email correspondence below).

Microsoft stating that the charges were unauthorized, in writing

I did as they advised. I attempted to dispute the charges with my credit card company, only to be shot down. The credit card company said that the charges were too far in the past, and that there is no way to dispute them now.

I contacted Microsoft again, multiple times again, letting them know that their advised path for a refund is not possible and asked them to provide me with a refund, or a credit, or some other form of compensation. I tried over email, I tried over chat, and I tried over phone. I asked for it to be escalated, I asked to speak to supervisors. Same answer each time, they were unwilling to refund me.

This incident is particularly troubling based on the comments I have, in writing, from a Microsoft Support representative.

“This email is proof and verification that the charges taken in your account , refer below details are unauthorized charge .”

– Microsoft Support

Here, Microsoft themselves have stated that the charges are unauthorized, and they are the party that made the charges, and yet… they refuse to issue a refund.

As my multiple requests to Microsoft Support went no where, I took a different approach and contacted the Microsoft Business Conduct email address. They did not respond. I replied multiple times asking for a response. They never responded.

This is very disappointing, Microsoft. Consumers deserve better! Microsoft should refund me $214.08.

2022-12-23 update

“Microsoft Escalation Support Communications” ( ) contacted me on 12/23 and is looking into the issue.

2022-12-30 Update: Microsoft has once again failed to refund me the unauthorized charges that they made against my credit card. They did provide me with a token $50 credit to my Microsoft account as a goodwill gesture, but this does not satisfactorily resolve the issue that they caused.

About Wes Novack

Wes is a Technologist working in the software industry, with extensive experience building and managing highly available applications, services, and systems in the public cloud. He has extensive experience with online publishing and building internet communities. Wes enjoys hanging with his family, getting outdoors, skateboarding, hiking, pickelball, tennis, the vegan lifestyle, and a good cup of tea. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) @WesleyTech.

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